Source: In 2018 you don’t need to exercise more—you need to move more
In our fervor for high intensity exercise, we seem to forget about exercise’s older, more elemental sibling: movement.
“We can grasp sedentary behavior as it relates to exercise because it’s easy to see the difference between exercising one hour a day and not exercising one hour a day,” Bowman writes. But few of us contemplate the “difference between exercising one hour a day and not exercising the other twenty-three.”
Source: The link between polygamy and war
Plural marriage, bred of inequality, begets violence
Wherever it is widely practised, polygamy (specifically polygyny, the taking of multiple wives) destabilises society, largely because it is a form of inequality which creates an urgent distress in the hearts, and loins, of young men. If a rich man has a Lamborghini, that does not mean that a poor man has to walk, for the supply of cars is not fixed. By contrast, every time a rich man takes an extra wife, another poor man must remain single. If the richest and most powerful 10% of men have, say, four wives each, the bottom 30% of men cannot marry. Young men will take desperate measures to avoid this state.
Source: My Internet Mea Culpa – Rick Webb
I believed that the world would be a better place if everyone had a voice. I believed that the world would be a better place if we all had no secrets.
If I had known in 1994 that this whole internet thing would have brought generations — generations — of pain before the solution came, it would have been a totally different decision process for me to help it out.
Perhaps everyone on the planet needs to learn how to use all of this new power responsibly … And, again, perhaps it will take generations.
With both of these explanations for what went wrong, there is still a strong argument to keep at it. … But there is another possibility to consider: What if we were fundamentally wrong? … What if we were never meant to be a global species? … What if information doesn’t want to be free?
I would like every one that sold me — and everyone else — this bag of goods to address these possibilities. Failing that, I’d like them to offer other explanations for where we’re at now, and how we get to the promised land.
Source: Computer latency: 1977-2017, by Dan Luu
These are tests of the latency between a keypress and the display of a character in a terminal
If we had to pick one root cause of latency bloat, we might say that it’s because of “complexity”. … Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to remove complexity than to give a talk saying that we should remove complexity. A lot of the complexity buys us something, either directly or indirectly. … in practice, the solution to poor performance caused by “excess” complexity is often to add more complexity.
Source: How to fix modernity’s Godzilla problem
Humans are dominant as a species because they can carry the power of scale from the biological into the social realm.
In our relationships with one another, we have evolved from being citizens in more or less organized communities with institutions of collective solidarity to “taxpayers” and lobbyists of the self on “political markets.” By greatly valuing individual freedom over mutual responsibility, liberal-minded leaders not only unleashed new growth, but also turned the chasm between material inequality and political equality into a vicious force: if we are to accept a decision that goes against us, we must see ourselves as part of a group whose decision this is. When we lose this consensus, every collective decision we do not benefit from infringes upon our freedom and needs to be fought.
The biggest flaw of modern market societies is that they channel most of their energy into growth, hoping for maintenance to take care of itself. … A renewed focus on the constant process of entropy and decay and the work that is needed to halt it is a promising opening not just for new research programmes, but also for those who reject the Hobson’s choice between progressive neoliberalism and the new authoritarian populism. Different as they are, both political movements are about deconstruction, about tearing down structures of hegemony. And, both in their own ways turn a blind eye to the constructive side of our modern heritage: science, reason, humanism and universal principles of freedom, equality and justice.
Populists often conflate the work of maintenance with putting something back into its original state. But in dynamic systems it is much more than repairing the “wear and tear”; it is about redesigning and rebuilding society’s supporting structure.
blue whales are not just scaled-up microbes; Tesla cars are not just bigger horse carriages; and cities are not just scaled-up medieval villages. They are the result of ingenious solutions to the Godzilla problem.